​Ultima Thule: Northwest Passage & West Greenland

Spending equal time exploring Canada’s historic Northwest Passage and West Greenland, we like this voyage’s balance and variety as much as exploring little visited places like Thule, one of the northernmost towns in the world. Big ice, ​rich ​history, ​exotic ​wildlife​, epic ​scenery & the Northern Lights - this trip has it all.

17 Days

$12,595

​Ultima Thule: Northwest Passage & West Greenland - 17 - $12,595

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 12 full days ‘off ship’ exploring - Canadian Arctic (6) & West Greenland (6)
  • Flights Ottawa/ Resolute & Kangerlussuaq/ Ottawa
  • Travelling aboard a recently refurbished 134 guest ship
  • Kayaking (additional cost) & Hiking
  • Complimentary parka jacket

Landmarks visited on ​Ultima Thule: Northwest Passage & West Greenland

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Ottawa, Canada

Your arctic expedition begins in Ottawa. Explore Canada's capital city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.


Day 2: Fly to Resolute

This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, you'll have a chance to walk around this small arctic town before enjoying your first of many Zodiac cruises as you're transferred to your ship.


Days 3-6: Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Remote and rich in history, the Canadian High Arctic is as awe inspiring as it is informative. Named after explorer Frederick William Beechey, of the Royal Navy, Beechey Island is a Canadian National Historic Site. It's an important stop on our voyage, as this is the final resting place of three members of Sir John Franklin's ill-fated 1845-46 expedition to find the Northwest Passage.The graves, on a remote windswept beach, were discovered in 1851 by the crew of British and American vessels searching for signs of Franklin's lost expedition.

Radstock Bay is a popular research location for observing polar bears, which are often seen here in summer. An impressive Thule archaeological site provides insight into how these pre- Inuit people lived in the Far North. For almost 5,000 years, the hamlet of Arctic Bay and its surrounding area has been occupied by Inuit nomads migrating from the west. Surrounded by soaring cliffs teeming with seabirds, this is a great spot to go ashore and learn about the Inuit community's traditional way of life.

The eastern end of Lancaster Sound affords numerous hiking opportunities on Devon Island. We'll anchor at Croker Bay, where we'll Zodiac cruise along the face of an active glacier. We'll try to keep a safe distance, but still hope to get close enough to appreciate the splendour of calving ice. Walrus frequent the waters here, so be sure to have your camera handy. A hike to a nearby archaeological site is another possible excursion.

At Dundas Harbour, trek along a beach to a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost. Encounters with muskoxen are possible here. Canada's most northern settlement, Grise Fjord will be your final shore visit in the Canadian High Arctic. Now home to about 150 residents, the traditional, mostly Inuit community was created in 1953, when the federal government resettled eight Inuit families from northern Quebec.

Hunting and fishing are a significant part of their way of life. Visit the monument to the first Inuit settlers, as well as the remnants of the "old camp" where they lived.


Days 7-8: Exploring Smith Sound

Before saying goodbye to Canada, we'll try to cruise as far north as possible, exploring both sides of Smith Sound, the uninhabited passage between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.


Day 9: Qaanaaq, Greenland

Your first stop in Greenland is Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, one of the northernmost towns in the world (there's a reason ancient philosophers called it Ultima Thule, or "edge of known territory"). Here, local Inuit share their culture and traditions, and the museum sheds more light on what it's like living near the top of the world.


Day 10: At Sea

As we sail south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations by our on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.


Days 11-15: Exploring West Greenland

With spectacular glaciers, soaring fjords and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless. Nuussuaq (formerly known as Kraulshavn) is the only mainland community in the Upernavik Archipelago. Founded in 1923 as a trading station, it's one of the most traditional hunting and fishing villages in Greenland.

It's not surprising that the red-hued, heart-shaped mountain that rises up behind Uummannaq gave the traditional community its name (Uummannaq means "heart-like" in Greenlandic). As your ship approaches the shore, you'll want to be on deck to take in the incredible view of the twin peaks towering over the vibrantly painted wooden houses dotting the rocky terrain below.

The settlement was established as a Danish colony in 1758 on the mainland, but it relocated five years later because seal hunting was more plentiful here. In the nearby archaeological site of Qilaqitsoq (also known as Qilakitsoq), you'll visit the ruins of an ancient settlement, where the remains of eight fully dressed mummies were discovered under a rock outcrop in 1972 by a pair of hunters.

The famous Greenlandic mummies, which date back to 1475 AD, are on view at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk. Cruising farther south rewards with spectacular views of Eqip Sermia. The jagged, blue-tinged glacier soaring out of the crystal-clear water is one of the most beautiful sights in Greenland, and we hope to Zodiac cruise along its massive front from a safe distance. We may also go ashore to explore nearby.

Just south of Ilulissat, which means "iceberg" in Greenlandic, is the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. As we Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord, you may be lucky to witness the wonders of calving ice (listen to the loud roars as the ice breaks off ).

Founded in 1741, the traditional town, which boasts more sled dogs than people, is famous in its own right: it was the birthplace of explorer Knud Rasmussen, the first to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled, in the early 1920s. Hikes here lead out to stunning views of the young icebergs as float out the fjord to Disko Bay. In Sisimiut, you'll be treated to a traditional kayaking demonstration.

The kayak (an Inuit word that the English borrowed) is Greenland's national symbol and can be traced back to the country's first immigrants, who used vessels that resemble the narrow one- or two-person boats. The town has several 18th-century colonial buildings, including the oldest surviving church in Greenland, so take time to wander through the historic area.

You'll also have a chance to hike amongst the area's surrounding mountains. Situated in a scenic hollow on a small island with no freshwater, the colorful community of Itilleq, which has about 130 inhabitants, is surrounded by sea, mountains and fjords. The final excursion of your arctic adventure may be a hike around Itilleq Fjord.


Day 16: Disembark in Kangerlussuaq

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you'll board your charter flight back to Ottawa, Canada. Upon arrival in Ottawa, we will transfer you to your included hotel.


Day 17: Depart Ottawa, Canada

Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this historic city.


NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.

About The Ship

  • A 4* vessel suitable for up to 134 guests
  • A spacious ship with extensive public areas
  • High 1A ice class
  • Rounded stern & stabilisers = superior stability
  • Optional kayaking available
  • Complimentary jacket & loan of rubber boots
John Newby

What I liked most were this ship’s vast outer decks - brilliant for spotting wildlife - and her superior stability.

John Newby Polar Specialist

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.

Triple
Superior
Deluxe
Owner's Suite
September 2019
10-Sep-2019 Full Full $18,495 Full

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $12595

Activities

  • Kayaking (USD 695) - basic abilities required


Additional Notes

The charter flights at the beginning and end of the voyage cost an additional $2,495 per person on top of the voyage price. This is inclusive of taxes and fees.


Single Supplement & Child Policy

For those travelling solo and want their own cabin, the single supplement in a twin cabin is 1.7 times the cost of a single berth. However, there is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin.

Child Policy: At date of embarkation, the minimum age restriction of 8 years and a minimum height and weight requirement of 64 lbs or 29kg and 48" or 1.2 meters must be met.

Includes

  • Complimentary parka jacket
  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation during the voyage on full board basis
  • All shore excursions and zodiac activities
  • Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
  • Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • Loan of rubber boots for the voyage's duration
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites

Excludes

  • Flights Ottawa/ Resolute & Kangerlussuaq/ Ottawa
  • Any additional services before & after your voyage
  • Transfers not specific to the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional adventure activities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature: laundry, beverages, etc
  • Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
  • Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)

Questions about this Voyage?